MARCH 4--IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Northbrook, IL; www.ipc.org) has announced the findings from its monthly Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS)/Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The North American IMS/PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for January 2004 remained positive at 1.08. The ratio is calculated by averaging the index numbers for orders booked over the past three months and dividing by the average index numbers for sales billed during the same period. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth. Industry sales billed (shipments) in January 2004 increased 28.4% from January 2003, and orders booked increased 19.8% from January 2003.
The IMS/PCB Business Report, an IPC statistical report that tracks the dynamics of the US IMS industry, reported the IMS/PCB shipment index was 118.1 and the IMS/PCB booking index was 125.2 for January 2004. The IPC IMS/PCB shipment index in January 2004 decreased 6.5% from 126.3 in December 2003, and the IPC IMS/PCB booking index in January 2004 decreased 8.7% from 137.1 in December 2003. The index shows how current PCB shipments and bookings relate to an index point. In this case, 1992 was chosen as the index point because it was a stable growth year for U.S. PCB manufacturers. A shipment index number of 117.0, for example, indicates that shipments are 17% higher than average shipments for the same time period in 1992.